Domestic

Advice Clinic - We have the answers to most common tree care questions


Q. My tree casts shadow over my house and garden, what can I do about it?

Depending upon what species of tree it is, a number of operations can be used to reduce shadow and light blocking. In general and dependant upon species it would be best not to formally reduce the crown (or leafing area) of the tree drastically. The removal of crown growth in most case promotes fast re-growth and an unnecessary draw on the tree’s reserves. This can lead to stress growth and the first signs of disease or decay intervention. Certain limbs can be pruned and in some cases a formal crown reduction can be used. However a combination of tip reducing key limbs, thinning the crown of the tree (i.e. reducing density of the leafing area) and removing limbs completely (crown lifting) will lead to a similar result in getting more light into the garden or house and reducing the number of operations a tree surgeon has to carry out. In the long term this will lead to a reduced management cost for you and a longer life for your tree. Sometimes, because of the location of the tree, reducing the tree’s size is the only option, but let us explain the options to you first on site.

Q. I am concerned the roots of my tree may be affecting my foundations?

This question has been a larger concern for the tree industry over the last few years than ever before. Insurance company requests and research into this field of tree care have been growing rapidly. It is possible that, dependant upon tree type, location and the soil type, trees can affect soil structure and foundations. The only way to gather a comprehensive picture of the exact problem is to call us in and we can either make recommendations ourselves or refer the site to a consultant specialising in this field. Test pits may have to be dug and further analysis of data made before making an accurate and insurable decision. This can prove to be a confusing procedure for clients, but left with us we can take the responsibility on board with confidence.

Q. I want to prune my tree. When is the right time to do this?

Dependant upon species one can prune a tree at most times of the year. There are a few exceptions such as walnut trees which should only be pruned in full leaf and certain maples can be sensitive to pruning in the spring. Purists would say that summer time or when a tree is in full leaf is the best time to prune as the tree has a chance to overcome whatever surgery is carried out and to seal off cuts and adjust to a change in structure whilst it is making growth and storing nutrients. The best way of determining time of pruning is to call us and ask.

Q. How do I increase the safety of my tree? I have small children and I use the garden a great deal.

The removal of dead wood within the crown of a tree and the "formative pruning" of a tree which removes crossing and rubbing branches and identifies an area of limb or trunk weakness is a very useful operation. Climbing inspections and decay reports can be constructed to offer a planned management programme. This is the only fully insurable way of offering you peace of mind.

Q. How can I make my leylandii hedge smaller and more manageable?

This type of tree work takes up a good deal of every tree surgeon’s time and whilst it can be a source of contention the species does have a useful and valuable role in offering screening and hedging ability. In most cases height control is not a problem for leylandii but width correction can be dependant upon the age of the tree. It is true the species of leylandii cannot be cut back past a green point on the limb as this will result in "browning". Again call us in to view the trees and we will give you the best advice in terms of correcting the problem and control or removal and replanting. We carry out routine trimming of these trees and hedges every year and obtain good results from continual pruning.

Q. My tree might have some sort of disease. Could it be dangerous?

Disease and decay can be present all year round but analysis of diseases at certain time of the year is the key to offering long-term advice. Most diseases that affect roots and the base of a tree are found underground and are identified during November to March when the "fruiting" season produces fungi or fungus bodies in the soil under the tree that are easily seen. Further disease can be identified all year round by advanced decay detection using the latest "non-invasive" technology and a plan can be made to ascertain whether or not this renders the tree dangerous.